FBI ‘helped US hostage’s make ransom payment to al-Qaeda’

The FBI reportedly helped the family of an American hostage pay $250,000 (£162,000) to al-Qaeda in a move that appeared to contradict long-standing US policy not to pay ransoms to terrorists.

The family of Warren Weinstein, an aid worker accidentally killed in a botched US drone strike, asked for the FBI’s help as it prepared to make the payment to al-Qaeda in 2012, according to the Wall St Journal.

FBI agents reportedly agreed to vet a Pakistani middleman for the ransom payment and, after concluding that he was legitimate, advised the family that paying might be the best hope of recovering Mr Weinstein.